Use of P3M3 at Manchester City Council Capital Programme Group

Kevin Fletcher, Manchester City Council


Manchester City Council’s Capital Programme Group isresponsible for over 1,200 projects that have been designatedas capital expenditure. This covers both routine and high-riskprojects that collectively have an annual spend in excess of£300 million.


The Capital Programme Group was established in 2003 withthe aim of increasing confidence in the change initiatives thatManchester City Council was undertaking. This work wasinitiated by John Lorrimer, Director of the Capital ProgrammeGroup, who recruited Kevin Fletcher to drive the initiativeforward. Kevin was keen to understand how the council couldprove its performance in implementing the change initiatives thatcomprised the Capital Programme. This posed many questions:

  • Who else was doing this?
  • How could this be done?
  • What were the options?
  • What would be done as a consequence?
  • What would success look like?

Through the Core Cities PPM Group, it became clear that othercity councils were also interested in similar issues and, afterdiscussion, they agreed upon a common benchmarking tool inthe Portfolio, Programme and Project Management MaturityModel (P3M3). The Core Cities Group comprises the councils of:

  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Nottingham
  • Sheffield.


  • It was developed by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) using language and concepts familiar to those in a PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2®) or Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) environment
  • It can be used diagnostically to identify root causes and areas to concentrate on
  • It provides a baseline of current capability
  • It can be used to prioritize improvement initiatives
  • It can be used to provide a benchmark for comparison with other organizations
  • It can be used incrementally to monitor improvements.

(Why was P3M3 chosen?)